Jena Hall is an OBGYN Resident at KGH, so is a very busy woman, working over 60 hours a week. Nevertheless, Jena makes time to train, coming to the gym with the crack-of-dawn crew, or with the evening folks at 6:00 or 7:30pm. If her schedule allows, Jena will also get 15-20 minutes of extra work in, working on her pull-ups, snatches, and overhead squats. Read below to learn about how Jena and her partner Chris fit home-cooking into their busy lives, the improvements she is most proud of, and what she wish she knew when she started CrossFit.
What does an average day-in-the-life look like for you? (food, training, work, recovery, leisure time, etc.):
I'm an OBGYN Resident at KGH, so a day in my life varies a lot based on what service I'm rotating through and what my call schedule looks like, so I'll give a couple quick examples.
5:30am wake up
breakfast: either oatmeal, OR toast with almond butter and jam, OR yogurt with granola + coffee (always coffee)
6:15-6:30am start work, see patients in hospital
7:30am start surgical cases
Pre surgery snack: cheese or banana
(depending on length of cases eating through the day can be snacks/lunch split up between cases)
Lunch: usually leftovers - we subscribe to 'GoodFood' which is a service that delivers groceries in exact quantities to make meals (recipes included), so dinner the night before becomes lunch. Standard examples: lentil curry, OR asparagus risotto, OR tofu stir fry
Afternoon is more surgery and seeing patients in hospital
Pre-workout snack: granola bar or apple
straight from work to the gym
6pm or 7:30pm class
Home for dinner: see standard examples for lunch, usually with a glass of wine - usually cook with Chris, and spend time debriefing the day/talking about the WOD
For the rest of the evening, hangout either preparing for the next day, reading, or watching Netflix
Sleep at 10-11pm
Wake up at 5:00am
Home for quick shower and turn-around - breakfast same as above
Work for 7:30-8:00am
Clinic all day (lunch same as above)
Home at 5pm
Read/prep for next day/make dinner
Sleep at 10-11pm
Have you changed the way you eat since you began CrossFit, If so, how?
1. Grocery/meal delivery service (GoodFood): This was actually a big deal for Chris and I. We are both so busy that often we don't have time to meal plan/prep and we don't really enjoy the grocery shopping trip, TBH... we found we were eating out a lot or ordering in. We learned about this grocery delivery service and it has definitely changed the way we eat in a positive way (home cooked with control over salt/oil.etc.). I wish we had time to do more with our nutrition, but we have just not made this a priority right now.
2. Eating more vegetable protein: our meal options with GoodFood are vegetarian, by choice. We made a decision to decrease the amount of meat protein we were eating day-to-day. I think it's been a good change overall, both for health and environmental reasons. We still eat meat, but only 1-2 days/week.
3. EATING LUNCH: Truthfully, there used to be many days in early residency that I did not eat from about 6am until 6pm...I felt like I was too busy to make the time. Joining CrossFit has made me much more aware of how my brain and body respond to good nutrition, and I make a MUCH bigger effort to make sure I eat through the day. It usually means that I'm eating while walking down hallways or stairwells... something I have become known for actually.
How does training/CrossFit fit into your life?
Training is Key.
I have noticed a huge difference in my overall mental health since making time for exercise. Prior to joining CrossFit, working out used to take a back burner when things got busy at work. It no longer does. I make it a priority.
Also, part of what motivates me to get to the gym is the people. I find, even if I've had a super busy/frustrating/brutal day, the gym helps me let that go and laugh a little - mostly when Jackson and Sean ask ridiculous questions during the squat circle
What reasons did you have to train when you started CrossFit? Have those reasons changed? If so, how?
If I'm being honest, I joined CrossFit about 10 months before our wedding. My primary goal was to have nice arms for wedding pictures. Achieved. Ha! (*insert strong arm emoji)
I'm still working out for nice arms...but also for other things. Mental health, community, physical sense of well-being.
What improvements have you made in the past 6 months that you are most proud of?
Burpees (keeping a steady pace)
Wallballs (keeping a steadIER pace...still working on it)
Toes to bar
What would you consider to be your greatest strength as an athlete?
I came from long distance running (and before that figure skating) so I'm usually better at the work outs that are 'a slog'.
I also think I'm pretty coachable (although I'll let Sean/Cal/JJ/Jackson be the true judges of that)
What is one thing that you do every day that you feel is essential in contributing to your success in the gym?
Honestly, I think it's just getting there and making working out a priority.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice when you started CrossFit, what would it be?
Do not be intimidated!
CrossFit is a great workout for people at all levels of training and with a wide variety of goals. Queen Street, especially, is SO welcoming and supportive of everyone. The coaches will get you through any movement and workout.
I kinda wish I had joined 5 years ago!
Do you have a go-to self-pep talk? (i.e. something you tell yourself when things get hard with training or during a workout)
Not really anything that's consistent, although...
Something that Mat Fraser once said resonated with me; 'You'd have to take a 10 minute break to feel fresh again, so don't waste your time on long rests, just catch your breath quickly and get on with it' - these were not his words exactly, but that was the sentiment. Sometimes I think about that and it keeps me going.
PS. I can't believe I just quoted Mat Fraser
Is there anything you would like to add?
Recently I went through a minor procedure which required sedation. As I was coming out of it (I don't actually remember this) I told everybody in the room how great CrossFit was and that they should all join... Not a joke, this happened.